Friday, June 20, 2008

I Think They Are Huffing It

Much of Indianapolis is parklike, with mature trees and wildlife -- not just the usual chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, 'possums and raccoons, either; I've seen red foxes, coyotes aren't unknown and the bird population includes everything from hummingbirds to hyperactive woodpeckers and Great Blue Herons. Turtles abound in the Central Canal, along with some semi-aquatic mammal, anyone's guess between muskrats and plain ol' rats.

And bugs. Droning "locusts" are pretty common; they have their peak years but every year there are a few who failed Alarm-Setting 101 and woke up off-peak, with brand-new wings an' boombox.[1]

But it is not the common (and tasty![2]) cicada of which I have come to sing, oh, no! Nor even the humble housefly. Nope. 'Tis another gift of Life With Natchah, the hardworkin' ant.

I don't dislike ants, especially the big red and black ants that work outdoors and keep the place cleaned up. But indoors they are not welcome. At various homes, I've dealt with few invasions by tiny, nasty "grease ants" and usually an offering of commercial Take-This-Poison-To-Thy-Queen ant remover will clear 'em out.

At Roseholme, we started getting medium-sized, light-fearing ants near the coffee area. (They utilize cover and flee when exposed. Have they been studyin' the cockroach edition of The Art Of War?) So we took a page from Snow White and set out our "poison apple" (as 'twere) and waited for that last carving of "Croatoan" to appear....

Ha! The only change has been that the ant-raiders are acting stoned. They run in circles, take mad chances and sometimes stop in outright defiance, antennae and forelegs waving madly, as the Thumb Of Doom descends.

I can't be certain but I suspect the the thieving ant-daughters are huffing the poison. Eeeeeeeeee!

The Greenies can't yet hale me up on suspicion of contributing to the moral turpitude of social insects of the family Formicidae, can they?
1. Completely off-topic but amazin': one Summer, the ex and I went down to shoot at Atterbury and near the range, an entire field of cicadas was making the other noise they can make, a "courtship song" as opposed to the "calling song," a quieter, eerie UFO-landing trill that rises and falls very gradually. (Found a time-lapse video of one moulting on Wikpedia and exclaimed with delight, "They're like troll faeries!" to Tam, who replied, "Ick. Spare me." Sometimes I'm too fanciful).

2. Me: (reading Wiki subheads) "Culinary uses of the cicada..."
Tam: "Our Lord wept! Ew. What has got you on this cicada kick?"
Wow. I am so not setttin' out that nice dish of fried grasshoppers. Also, here's your explaination, roomie. Such as it is.


breda said...

for your dining pleasure....

Anonymous said...

Maybe the ant-daughters are huffing the pheromones given off by two independent, gun-toting, Liberated ladies, and view the descending thumb as a government to defy!

Roberta X said...

I'd be proud to be exporting Defiant Daughter Syndrome -- but not across species lines! Besides, I betcha they still toe the mark when The Bosslady speaks.

Matt G said...

"Also, here's your explaination, roomie. Such as it is."

Did I (or you) miss a link, somewhere?


Anonymous said...

You daughters need to stay in line until you move out of the house! Ugh, pre-teen girls. :)

Arthur said...

"Have they been studyin' the cockroach edition of The Art Of War?"

Sun Shoo?

Anonymous said...

Something tells me you'd like .

Roberta X said...

Breda, thank you; the giant ants look like just the snack!

Matt G: fixed, thanks. ;)

Labrat: very kewl, very, very odd. I shall never think of the Wee Folk in quite the same way.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is a snippet from an advertising song of my youth (Ok, my H.S. graduation year).

Snappy Cicada pizza..."

Yes, it was played on WEBN numerous times during the great cicada invasion of Cincinnati in the late 80's.

Anonymous said...

Coming back from SC early this month, the cicadas in northern TN (US 25E, south of Cumberland Gap) were loud enough to be noticed despite having the car windows rolled up and the A/C on.